Here’s my un-packing list after my April 2016 walk from Sarria to Santiago revisions. This is an all-in, from-skin-out (FSO) list, so everything I wear or am carrying is included.
Synthetic sleeping bag in drybag – only used once and definitely just for summer use
Helsport rain poncho – not used but tried and tested, my favourite so far
Gaiters – got some custom made from Egear to cover my Hokas, ankles and calves, never used so no comment on them. Great idea though!
Rab Wisp pertex wind jacket – getting a bit worn now but I love it too much to let go
Hoka One One Challenger ATR shoes – once I got the right insoles they were sooo soft and comfortable, no PF at all!
Birkenstock EVA sandals – I use them in the shower and for pottering about, love them
Silnylon messenger bag – I throw all the extras, side bag and liquids into it for boarding, then repack and use it for shopping, sightseeing and taking to the shower with all the bits and bobs including clean clothes, valuables and toiletries
Two pairs of running tights – two long rather than one long and one short this time
Merino tunic – for walking; I have two but only took one. Will take two for longer walks.
Merino T-shirt – I was brave and brought just one! With a skirt I would need two.
Darla mosquito repellent + sun protective shirt – used twice in the bright sun, liked it.
Merino long sleeve top – for walking and layering, thin but tough
Merino tights – for evening wear, laundry wear, extra warmth and sleeping in
Merino dress – my replacement lighter version, the perfect travel dress!
Merino cardigan – my trademark splash of pink for travel and evening wear
Compresslite jacket – I took this instead of a fleece jacket, love it but missed my fleece
Buff collection – one regular merino for cold mornings, one long infinity for walking and evening wear + one sun protective with a neoprene peak for my face, not used.
Flopsy hat – that white-with-black-band English-person-abroad kind that squishes into the pack and never looks good as new again. I liked it because it didn’t put pressure on my sunglasses the way a headband Buff does, but is useless in the wind. Not sure.
Lightweight gloves – used once, practically weightless, will take them when using poles.
Socks and underwear – merino undies, sports bras, coolmax socks
Drybags – one for underwear, one for evening wear, one for spare walking clothes
Hanging toiletries bag – shampoo bar for hair and body, handleless brush, tiny pot SPF face cream, solid sun cream, tooth powder and tooth brush, crystal deodorant, Travalo perfume bottle, small bottle of wool kind detergent, microfibre towel and suction cup hook.
Verdict(s): The solid shampoo became gooey and hard to handle because it never got to dry properly, will take small bottle of shampoo next time. Tooth powder got claggy after a few dips and has no fluoride so will bring small tube of normal tooth paste or try tabs instead. The solid sun cream and crystal deo are great, I will take them again. Forgot to use the hook but I have tried it at home on tiles and windows and it works really well – will take it again and try to remember!
First aid bag – ibuprofen, tummy tabs, antihistamines, plasters, savlon, voltaren, nail scissors, Vaseline. All useful, luckily only nail scissors were used.
Sundries and electricals – Fitbit Charge HR (with power hungry features turned off), EU USB charger and cables, safety pins, S-hooks, spare pole tip, spare buckle, all good.
Boil coil – never used, but S did make herself an evening snack once. Jury still out.
Cross body bag for valuables – passport, travel insurance details, tickets, notebook, pen, credencial, sunglasses, money and phone. No camera – the phone did the job well enough as well as being a check-in device, wifi device, phone home device, Kindle, alarm clock (not in albergues!), flash light etc. Less is more, the phone will do next time too.
Best newcomer: Without doubt the SPF 15 Carmex Moisture Plus tinted lip balm! I brought two (packing error, honest) and think I like the peach one best. Almost like a vanity product, but not!
Things I missed: My husband and my Pacerpoles … I only brought one ultralight pole and lent the Pacers to my friend (I walk too fast with them). Other than that not a lot. I would have liked to have had a fleece in the evenings but not sure if I would sacrifice my cardi or padded jacket for one. Also I did buy a pair of incredibly soft and lightweight shoes but doubt I will start taking three pairs. Though who knows. If I take the extra jacket/fleece as well I probably would need a bigger pack but not adding a lot of weight. Did not miss the skirt, tunic and dress worked really well. Like the idea of thin and light pyjama bottoms but not enough to get rid of anything else.
Oh! Almost forgot! I also brought my Water 2 Go filter bottle – I use it all the time at home as well. I just fill it with any old tap water rather than buying plastic bottles all the time, saving money as well as the environment. The filter makes the water safer, not that Spanish water is dangerous, and also makes it taste better and removes chlorine whiffs. Being a water snob I really love my filter bottle. If I need more than half a litre at a time and there is no tap or fuente along the way, I will fill another empty bottle with more tap water to top it up as needed. I wanted to take a foldable water bottle but forgot … Next time!